Williams Ledger Elementary School holds Freedom Walk

By DAVID J. HARDIN
Cove Leader-Press

The kindergarten through fifth grade students at Williams Ledger Elementary School came together on Monday, September 11, to hold a freedom walk to show appreciation for first responders and military who put their lives on the line for freedom and do their best to keep communities safe. 
The walk was held on the 16th anniversary of the attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., during which thousands lost their lives. 
Students made posters and signs that they drew and colored, and some held American flags.
The kids listened as coordinator for the day’s event, Terri Jernigan, talked a little about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. 
She also welcomed all of the first responders who were in attendance to include officers from the Copperas Cove Police Department.
After Jernigan’s speech, the kids lined up and began to take the Freedom Walk around the parking lot of the school. Police officers also walked with them, two full laps around the school as patriotic music played, with songs like Alan Jackson’s “Where were you when the world stopped turning,” followed by “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood.
After the walk, they all gathered to sing “We are the World” while holding their posters and flags, with some students holding hands. 
Terri Jernigan talked about the purpose of the annual walk. 
“Why we do this every year, is today is Patriots’ Day, and it is a day of remembrance for September 11. These kids were all too young and they do not know anything about that, but we try and teach them to be responsible and caring citizens, and we also do this to recognize our first responders and say thank you.”
Edith Natividad works as an interventionist at the school. 
“It really means a lot to me because we have to remember our fallen heroes who were affected during this time,” she said. 
Police Chief Eddie Wilson talked about what it means to the department to see support from the children. 
“This means a great deal to us, because we go on about our day to day stuff not realizing the things that we do are appreciated. The school district does great things like this, and it is a great reminder for us, why we do what we do.”
Copperas Cove Police Officer Angel Nunez said, “It’s a privilege to do this each year.”
Ava Petro is in the fourth grade at Williams Ledger and shared her thoughts. 
“We celebrate our freedom today and honor those who were lost on that day.”
Jaxson Chaco is a fifth grader at Williams Ledger and said, “Remembering all of the people who were lost on that day, I love how we can come together to say thank you to our first responders, and we make posters.”
Marcus Castillo is a student at Williams Ledger and talked about the freedom walk being on September 11. “It means that today we honor all of the people who died in the twin towers, and those that died on that day. We also honor our first responders.”

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